Kenya’s participation in basketball at the African Games that started on Friday in Rabat, Morocco hangs in balance.
Team Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Charles Nyaberi, disclosed that the African Games Organising Committee, COJA, had by Saturday morning not cleared the men and women teams.
The Kenyan teams had been put on standby, having been ranked 13th, just a place outside the cut off but Nyaberi was optimistic that they would be allowed after the basketball technical committee meeting that was planned for Saturday evening.
“We shall process their tickets immediately we receive the greenlight from Morocco,” said Nyaberi from the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as teams continued to leave for the Games.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) vice president Hilmi Ali said they were waiting for the technical meeting where the draw will be done adding that Kenya will definitely participate following the withdrawal of Uganda and Togo.
Kenya is ranked 13th in the continent by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) after Niger, Uganda, Togo, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Tunisia, Niger and Botswana.
“We are confident that we shall be pooled. Our teams have been training at Kasarani and are raring to go,” said Ali.
Nyaberi disclosed that they were still waiting for the decision from the technical meeting to decide the fate of the basketball teams.
Nyaberi said so far from the 22 disciplines that Kenya will take part, boxing, tae kwon-do, judo, beach volleyball, swimming and shooting have left the country for the games with volleyball, badminton and table tennis scheduled to leave on Sunday.
“We have received 80 visas today (Saturday) after having processed 69. We are processing tickets for them based on priorities,” said Nyaberi.
Athletics, archery, basketball, canoe kayak, rowing, chess, cycling, handball, karate, lawn tennis, triathlon, weight lifting and wrestling are in camp and due for departure.
Athletics will be the last team to leave on Friday for their calendar that runs from August 26- to 31 in Rabat.
A total of 234 athletes representing 22 disciplines have been approved to participate in the competitions of which, 17 of these disciplines will serve as Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers.
A budget of Sh 335,773,111 has been set aside to cater for all expenses pertaining to the Games as approved by the Sports Fund Oversight Board.